Are You Ready For Your First Day of Classes? Use This Checklist to Make Sure!

Do you have your…

Campus Map?

You don’t want to be late on your first day of classes because you got lost… that would be embarrassing. Before you head out, grab your campus map so you don’t have any problems finding the building. It’s not a bad idea to walk to all of your classes before your first day so you can get a good idea about how long it will take to get there. Remember, some older buildings can be pretty darn confusing. If you have the opportunity to find your exact classroom in each building, do it!


Many professors expect you to have looked through the syllabus before class begins. (I’ve even had a class where something was due on the first day) But even if they don’t expect you to, it’s always a good idea to look through the syllabus anyway. It’ll give you an idea of what the class will be like so you are truly prepared. It’s always an awful feeling when you walk into a class all happy-go-lucky and then your professor says, “All right students, time to write your first essay!”


Having your books before classes start is recommended. Sometimes there are readings due the first day of classes and sometimes you get right to Chapter 1 as soon as the bell rings. Avoid sitting awkwardly, trying to act like you’re looking down at a book when you’re really just staring at the carvings in your desk. Your professor knows better and you won’t get anything out of your first lesson by doing that.


Chances are, you will be getting papers on your first day. Probably papers with your professors contact information or maybe even the instructions to your first writing assignment that is due in a week. You should have at least one folder on your first day of classes to put all of your papers in, but make sure you organize them in multiple folders as soon as you can.


Don’t be that guy who has to bum a piece of paper off your neighbor. Even if you know your first day of class is going to be a piece of cake, all professors love to start with that silly “meet and greet” exercise. Sometimes that calls for you writing down your name and a couple “interesting” facts about yourself on a piece of paper.
Plus, a student who takes notes their first day looks so much more studious to the professor than a kid who just sits there and looks at the clock.

No.2 Pencil?

Scantrons. Colleges use them more than they should, but that’s another blog, altogether. Take a pencil with you just in case your class uses them so you don’t have to use those golfer pencils with no erasers…because those are simply the worst.

Sharp lookin’ outfit?

First impressions are everything! Make a great first impression on your first day with something a little more put together than a pair of sweatpants. Your fellow classmates as well as your professor will take you much more seriously if you look like you’re made up. You can wear pajamas next time, but for your first day, wear that polo and those dark jeans…ooh la la!

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Betsy Loeb

Betsy Loeb

Betsy Loeb is a senior at the University of Illinois majoring in Broadcast Journalism. She lacks the ability to draw, so she loves being able to express her creativity instead through her writing. She considers herself the “coolest nerd,” spending many Friday nights indoors playing Guitar Hero and discussing Pokemon cards with her friends.